Monday, November 1, 2010

Putting the clock back in Deptford.(2)

That was a bit naughty of me yesterday - though I put in a link to the map, I didn't put in a link to the notebook from which I had transcribed a couple of extracts.  So let's put that right.

The next stage in Charles Booth's journey brings him closer to Crossfields Estate but might be a little confusing because he goes walking up streets that no longer exist.  Here's a map to give you some bearings - the online quality is not great but you can make out Addey Street (which Booth occasionally calls Addis Street) running parallel to Church Street with a further unnamed street running to the east.  Much of Addey Street appears to have been retained as the estate road running from behind Wilshaw House north to the railway.  The unnamed street was Hosier Street and where the entrance to the north side of Holden house now stands, there was Leonidas Street. 
Booth walks from the Broadway towards Creekside and Reginald Road noting:

N up Church Street (to Reginald Rd). Poor class of shops near the Broadway, 3 storied and old fashioned private houses, a few let in tenements but most look comfortable. Poorer as you go north. Pink as map. Portion of colour on east side gone – houses taken for mineral water factory. Lease for sale.

Though the south end of the Broadway has been rebuilt, there are once again a handful of very small shops at the Broadway end, and the mineral water factory must have been situated more or less where the car parking area behind Lewisham College now lies.  I do hope that they didn't get their water from the nearby Creek.

On into Creek Street (now Creekside)

East along Creek Street. With exception of two, the houses on south side are gone. Taken for business premises. On north side 2 st. houses. People look comfortable, work on the creek. Pink rather than purple of maps. Portion of street going north is poorer. East side nearly all gone. West side 2 storied houses. Purple (as map) to LB. Prefer latter.

Now the south side of Creekside only has one house left but the houses-into-businesses progression seems familiar as industrial use replaced housing. This continues north along Creekside/Creek St where there is housing on the west side (now Wilshaw and Holden Houses) but no housing on the east (Faircharm)

By the S side of railway is a passage eastward leading to the railway bridge across the Creek. Known as the ''Halfpenny Hatch.'' Toll of 1d charged for crossing.

Inflation clearly is not a recent phenomenon - already it costs twice as much as its name suggests.

W into Leonidas Street. 2 st. 4 rooms, flush with pavement. Paint good, clean and well kept. Decent people mostly one family in a house. Purple rather than LB of map. Colour omitted on south side, Light Blue. S down Hosier Street. 3 rm'd cottages, poor labouring class. Some broken windows. Part of SE end of street taken for factory. LB as map. Colour to come off west side south of entry into Addis Street. Ground plan of street wrong at south end. Street runs into Creek Street near Addis Street. Several houses between Hosier Street and turn in Creek Street.
 The recurrent references to colour reflect the colour coding Booth used to show levels of affluence.  Leonidas Street is roughly where the estate entrance opposite the Creekside Centre is.  Hosier Street has left no trace of itself though.  Its old route would take you through Holden and Wilshaw and and back out onto Creekside.

N along Addey Street. Small 2 St houses like Hosier St. south of the passage into Hosier Street. LB in character. Between the entry into Hosier Street and Leonidas Street is a row of old houses on E. side. 4 rooms and attic in roof. Footway leading to houses is about 2 ft below level of roadway and is protected by iron railing. Some prostitutes and criminals. Low rough class: reckons this the worst part of Deptford. Went into a house here to arrest a man at 5am. Found father, mother and 5 children in one room. All rooms are small. This piece should be D.Blue lined. Houses opposite are 2 st. D.Blue in character. Northern part is 2st and Light Blue except 3 shops and publichouse north of Leonidas Street. 

His route so far would seem to be along the lines of this:

As they walk back north up Addey Street the inspector remarks that he ''reckons this the worst part of Deptford.'' which Booth marks out here.
Addey Street, the buried heart of Crossfields is not a place of luxury.  ''Some prostitutes and criminals. Low rough class: reckons this the worst part of Deptford. Went into a house here to arrest a man at 5am. Found father, mother and 5 children in one room. All rooms are small''

So, prostitutes, 7-to-a-room overcrowding and criminals - the low rough class.  I think we may have become slightly more gentrified since Booth's day.

(Next section to include the hawkers and slatternly women standing about on the ''Poor Patch east of High Street/Giffen Street)

1 comment: